Eat more fruits and veggies for better heart health in 8 weeks
When it comes to the 100-meter dash, the undisputed champs are Usain Bolt (he did it is 9.58 seconds in 2009) and Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49 second in 1988). But if you want better heart health, a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine says you should set out on an eight-week-long DASH diet.
Researchers wanted to see what two diets rich in fruit and veggies -- they delivered 8.5 and 9.5 servings of produce daily -- would do for middle-age Americans' heart health. The diet with the most servings of produce (9.5) was the DASH diet, which also includes beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, low-fat dairy, very little saturated fat or cholesterol, and reduced salt.
Their conclusion? In just eight weeks, folks on both those plant-loving diets saw a significant reduction in heart strain and heart muscle injury, like what might happen from high blood pressure, heart failure or severe calcification of heart arteries. But the DASH diet is more effective.
Previous analyses show that for folks with high blood pressure, the DASH diet lowers systolic blood pressure (top number) by 11.4 points and diastolic blood pressure (lower number) by 5.5 points, and it reduces LDL cholesterol levels. For diet guidelines, go to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at www.nhlbi.nih.gov. Search for "DASH eating plan."
Other powerful approaches to reversing heart disease include the Ornish, Pritikin and Esselstyn diets: www.ornish.com; www.pritikin.com; www.dresselstyn.com.
So, dash out to the store for some veggies and fruit, and try a plant-centered diet for two months. You'll end up the big winner.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.